Following the devastation of the 2017 hurricanes Maria and Irma, the owner of a Florida construction company worked as a subcontractor hired by a federal relief program to repair damaged homes. Following an investigation, the woman is now facing federal insurance fraud charges for allegedly submitting fraudulent invoices to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. At her indictment, it was alleged that the phony invoices totaled $840,000.
The indictment asserts that some of the fraudulent invoices included employees who were not involved in the repair work. Furthermore, it is alleged that workers had to sign blank time sheets, which were then filled out by other employees who were instructed to insert false details on the forms. It is alleged that this woman and three other co-defendants committed the fraud from Aug. through Oct. 2018.
Reportedly, further investigations are underway into allegations by employees who say they were never paid for working on the project. One worker says the defendant owes him almost $40,000, leaving him facing financial ruin. He claims his light and water services were suspended, and his insurance policies lapsed because he was unable to pay premiums.
Anyone in Florida who faces white collar crimes charges such as insurance fraud will want to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney at the earliest opportunity. Allegations are not enough to bring a conviction, and many criminal charges are reduced or even dropped. A lawyer can protect the rights of the accused, and devise a defense strategy that aims to achieve the best possible outcome.